Omen / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallín Almeida

Photo taken from Primavera Digital site

By Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

The multifamily building lies in ruins. A mountain of rubble rises now in its place occupying a part of Monte, a very central street of Havana. Passers-by run, there is noise from sirens of patrol cars and firefighter equipment since there are most probably dead and injured.

Within the drama all of this implies the most serious thing, however, is not the collapse of the building but that occurrences of this nature are being repeated with a lot of frequency in the whole country.

It is very sad and at the same time unpleasant to see images as these…just because it rains a bit.

And it is that during more than fifty years those facilities were not repaired, were never subjected to maintenance of any nature neither on behalf of the State nor of its inhabitants since, in the case of the latter, they did not have the necessary resources at their disposal to do so.

Another circumstance that would bring about laughter if the problem were not so dramatic (it is unknown what will become of the persons who were left homeless, where they will go and if they will remain during many years in shelters crammed with others who suffered the same fate), is that one is not permitted to take photos of the collapse.

Those who dare to do so may be detained.

The image of a Cuba where buildings collapse only because nature fulfills her duty of making it rain, should not circulate around the world. It would be a discredit to the genuine representation of the proletariat.

But not only the buildings and streets are cracking.

The credit of the authorities splinters (constant cases of corruption at that level, admitted failure of the programs of the Party, promises of recovery that we do not see, changes that don’t get to the bottom of the problems).

Each day the peso and CUC are more devalued by the continuous increase in prices.

Thousands of Cubans continue, especially the young, trying to abandon the country by whatever means.

And this list could also continue ad infinitum.

The real lifeline, perhaps the only ones that we see, are the Pacts with the UN which the government of the island signed in 2008 but does not ratify and of which not a single word is spoken.

If tomorrow there appeared in the official press that the current authorities have ratified those most important documents, many of us would think the real changes have begun to arrive to our country and that it is the start of speaking and acting seriously for a transition that is real, peaceful and controlled in order to avoid disorder and violence that is unwanted by the great majority of us.

While that is not the attitude, this building in ruins, one more of the many I have already seen, aside from being the disaster that it represents for those who once lived in it, constitutes an inevitable and dangerous OMEN.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

June 25 2012